Defense carries Lady Vikes to an easy victory

Published 11:35 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

One of the things Warren Central girls’ basketball coach Jackie Martin-Glass says she preaches to her team is the importance of defense. If all else fails, if shots aren’t falling, hustle and defense can still lead to a victory.

If the Lady Vikes ever need a reminder of that, all they have to do is pull out the tape from Saturday’s Red Carpet Classic game against Forest Hill.

Warren Central didn’t allow a point in the second quarter while building a 24-point halftime lead, and had no trouble overcoming a mediocre day offensively as they blasted the Lady Patriots 54-18.
Forest Hill (2-11) scored eight points in the first quarter, and then 10 the rest of the game.

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“I’ve been trying to get my girls to buy into defense. It’s the difference. If you’ve got the defense you can win championships, and I’m trying to get them to buy into that theory,” Martin-Glass said. “We didn’t score really, really well early. We weren’t scoring, but they weren’t.”

Warren Central (16-5) got a balanced scoring effort as most of the reserves saw significant playing time during the second half. Six players scored at least five points apiece, and guard T.T. Sims was the only one in double figures.

Sims hit three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points and five assists. Her sister, Te’Asia Sims, scored eight points. Amber Gaston had seven points and four blocked shots, and Dominique Caldwell also scored eight points.

Cocoa Fultz had seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Chrishonda Montgomery led Forest Hill with eight points.

Warren Central got off to a sluggish start and led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter. They then outscored Forest Hill 21-0 in the second to take a 24-point lead into halftime.

Forest Hill only scored five points in the third quarter, and five more in the fourth. It made two field goals in the last three quarters.

“That lets me know my girls are buying into the concept I want to go by, and that’s defense wins championships,” Martin-Glass said.

The Lady Vikes won their second game in less than 24 hours, after blowing out division rival Greenville 68-29 on Friday. That gave them a lift heading into a huge Division 4-6A matchup on the road with Murrah on Tuesday night.

Warren Central beat Murrah, the defending Class 6A champion, in the Jackson Public Schools Tournament in December. That’s the only loss Murrah (15-4) has had to a Mississippi team this season. Its other three came against teams from Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will also be in first place in Division 4-6A at the midway point of the season.

“It’s good for us going into Murrah on Tuesday night to come off some wins. Maybe we can build on our defense, because it’s going to be a really tough game. We beat them in the JPS, but I know they’ve got revenge and that it’s a district game on their minds. I hope it’s a really good game,” Martin-Glass said. “It’s going to be a good indicator to a lot of people if we were lucky the first time or if we have a good team. They’re coming back as state champions, they were number one in the state for a while, and the only team they’ve lost to in the state was us. So it’s going to be a good test to see if we can defend our star with them.”

(B) Jim Hill 64, Warren Central 44

Tylan Anderson scored 14 points, Keelen Martin had 11 and Kortland Jordan 10 as Jim Hill routed Warren Central in the Red Carpet Classic at Vicksburg High School.

Jim Hill (10-8) edged the Vikings (8-9) by one point when the teams played in Jackson in November, but this one was never really close. Jim Hill got out to a 14-point lead at halftime and kept the margin around 20 for most of the second half.

Jalen Glass hit four 3-pointers and scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter for Warren Central. Raleigh Floyd added eight points, and no one else had more than five.

Warren Central lost for the third time in four games, but has not lost more than two in a row — nor won more than three in a row — at any point this season.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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